Vacation—tips that helped me pack my bags and avoid packing on the extra pounds
Saturday, June 18, 2011
The word “vacation” doesn’t mean to vacate your new healthy lifestyle that you have worked so hard to achieve. I picked a mini vacation for my reward for reaching the half way point of my goal weight. If you don’t have rewards for yourself, I strongly recommend it. It can be a great motivator and they don't have a cost a lot either. For example, I buy myself a goodie each week---how cheap! While I was eagerly anticipating my vacation that I had worked so hard for, I was concerned about undoing all of my progress up to that point. So I armed myself before I even pulled out of the driveway.
We (family of 4) stayed in a condo with a full kitchen. So I had the benefit of making my own breakfast and snacks every day. I also packed a picnic lunch or supper every day. We decided before we left home, only one meal out per day. That is not only Sparkplan friendly, but also saved $$ too. Here’s what I packed:
Healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack items…same food as when I am at home
Water …and more water
Coolers and ice packs…to take food and water on daily excursions so you don’t get hungry through out the day…my husband is still in shock that I must eat 5 times a day
Measuring cups and spoons…ya, I still measure everything
Food scale…measure and weigh…I did not take the bathroom scale though, I only weigh once a week. One week out of the month, I gain and lose 5 lbs. in that week. Net gain/loss is zero. I just accept that 1 week out of 4 the scale is not going to move for me.
Pedometer and HRM…to monitor all of my activities, make even sight-seeing count
Fitness DVD…just in case I did not get enough cardio or strength training in every day
Droid smart phone…for tracking everything that goes in…when up in the mountains when I had no service, I would take a picture of what I was going to eat and add a “sticky note” in my phone with a brief description so I could enter it later on SP.
Laptop…used it at night to do my Sparktime…track at least food and fitness everyday.
Just because you are on vacation is no excuse for not working out. No matter where you are, you can do SOMETHING. There was a treadmill and elliptical and weights at the condo for guest use. I didn’t use them, but I did swim every day. I also took a fitness DVD with me. For this particular trip, I wasn’t too worried about getting in fitness minutes. We did a lot of strenuous hiking. The kind where it is just as much of a workout going down the mountain as it is going up. And I volunteered to carry the water for added weight…more calorie burn. And it was still less weight than I carried up the mountain last year. It was fat instead of water.
For meals that we had to eat in a restaurant…I engaged the Mom Veto Power…NO buffets, and sometimes we ordered 2 or 3 meals and split them 4 ways. Here’s where the phone came in handy. I could look up food BEFORE I ordered. If I had to estimate something, I went on the high side to be safe. I enjoyed decadent foods IN MODERATION! Yes you can enjoy good food without deprivation.
Be realistic in your goals…I only expected to maintain my weight during my vacation time. But I actually lost 1.5 pounds. I tracked everything every day. I stayed in calorie range every day but one. The day that I did go over, I still had a differential because I was so active that day. If you are not familiar with the Single Day Calorie Differential Report, I recommend it. I look at that daily, and it really helps keep me on track.
Above all, have fun! And don’t feed the BEARS. In fact, just leave them alone. And don't pick the flowers either. This is my public service announcement/rant for the Great Smoky Mountains…I find it irritating that a mother bear and her two cubs have been removed from the park and taken to NC three times. According to the ranger, they think she MAY become too aggressive(with humans that are irritating her). HELLO, maybe she doesn’t want to leave. It IS HER HOME. When in the wild, YOU are the guest, so act like one. OK, rant over.
With a little planning you too can Spark while on vacation! And if you do pack on pounds while you are on vacation…so what…just get back to SP when you get home.